The Impact of Philosophy on Religion The Principle of Modernity - RR261D7

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Lesson[edit]

Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: The Impact of Philosophy on Religion The Principle of Modernity
Course: Course - History of Modern Philosophy
Subject: Subject:Philosophy
Lesson#: 7
Length: 0:54:06
TapeCode: RR261D7
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
History of Modern Philosophy.jpg

This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission.


There is a very great inner consistency and logic to them. Of course, this is the reason why they are in the saddle, their position has a philosophical consistency which ours rarely has. Too often, the Christian in our time and the conservative or libertarian has a smorgasbord philosophy. Now I enjoy a good smorgasbord dinner, I like to go along the tables and pick and choose and sample a variety of foods. But this is hardly intelligent in the realm of ideas.

But for the average non-modern, and I say non-modern in terms of not subscribing to this stream of modern philosophy, Cartesianism, a smorgasbord philosophy is virtually a rule of life. I regularly run across Protestants and Catholics who assure me that they are good Christians, but “Don’t you think reincarnation is true?” Well now, you cannot be a good protestant or a Catholic and believe in reincarnation, it is just like the term which is common now in some circles, Christian Atheism. It’s a contradiction in terms. But the intellectual right is shot through with this type of absurdity, this type of contradiction, this type of lack of consistency, an unwillingness to take a position and develop it systematically to its logical conclusion, means too as we approach the world and as we approach history our perspective is very superficial.

Let me cite an example of this superficiality. All the way through grade and high school and the university and seminary I regularly encountered all kinds of condemnations of Charlemagne’s ostensible conversion of the Saxons. You may have forgotten the incident, but what Charlemagne did after repeated wars against the Saxons, was to line up the entire Saxon people at a river, and a line of priest’s there, and say: “Now, here is the chopping block. Over there is the river. You either get baptized or line up for the chopping block.” Well of course the Saxon nation at that point became baptized. [00:03:05]

Now, I can recount a long list of contemptuous remarks...[edit]

Now, I can recount a long list of contemptuous remarks about the stupidity of this kind of action, “how did Charlemagne, and how did other rulers who did the same thing ever expect to win souls with this kind of tactic, what a barbaric type of action.” Well, of course what this involves is a simplistic view of history and of men’s attitudes. What was Charlemagne’s rational? This is rarely asked. Charlemagne was dealing with a people who were barbarians in the real sense of the word. All kinds of very savage practices including human sacrifice on a very large scale, were routine in the Saxon people at that time. They were proving to be a major problem along the borders when incorporated within his empire, for pacification purposes because he could not maintain order, perpetually he had to be at war with these Saxon marauders, they were again equally lawless, and there were repeated wars against the Saxons.

Then when Charlemagne began to study the situation he realized something. The horror the Saxons had of baptism. And then very logically he followed through and baptized them. Why? Because the Saxons believed that if you were baptized then you moved out of the jurisdiction of their old Gods, and under the jurisdiction and wrath of the Christian God. And you only disobeyed Him at your peril.

Now this was a belief common to many peoples of the day, so logically he concluded, “I’m not going to make Christians out of them, but if I baptize them they will abandon human sacrifice because they will be afraid of the Christian God, and they will abandon a great many of these practices which are totally destructive of any possible culture or civilization in that area. He did, and the consequence was not the Christianization of the Saxon peoples, but it ended all the human sacrifice. It cropped up occasionally but it was just minor criminal activity. You see he had understood the logic of their position, and the logic of their position meant that once they were baptized they had to be afraid of the Christian God, and therefore they had to educate their children in the faith, they had to go through the form of obeying the Christian practices and so on. [00:06:08]

A very intelligible action, once we understand the...[edit]

A very intelligible action, once we understand the rationale. Charlemagne was able to cope with the Saxons, because he understood the logic of their position. Our inability today to cope with the opposition is because too often we simply condemn their position without understanding its logic and its rationale.

Now as we come to the impact of philosophy on religion, an analysis of the principle of modernity, we must acknowledge first of all the philosophy has been determinative of religion in the modern age.

Earlier, theology had been the queen of the sciences. Tis position was paramount in Anselm. In the scholastics philosophy began to gain a position of pre-eminence. But it was with Cartesianism, the whole of modern philosophy, that philosophy now began to dictate the world and life view, began to mold theology and religion.

Very early, the work of Descartes had a powerful impact on Protestant and Catholic thinkers. The impact of Descartes came to its clearest focus and most obvious and open triumph in the writings of Bishop Joseph Butler of the church of England. His dates are 1692-1752. Now Butler as he applied modern philosophy to the problems of religion first of all presupposed the autonomous mind of man as the ultimate judge, competent to decide over God, to judge God as it were. To bring God to the bar of justice and to pass a verdict upon Him. [00:08:33]

Second, Butler assumed the neutrality of this autonomous...[edit]

Second, Butler assumed the neutrality of this autonomous mind, so that while formally holding to the doctrine of the fall, the mind was held to be actually neutral. Then beginning with this autonomous mind of man, Butler reasoned from the mind to this outer world which was a separate substance according to Descartes, and then to God. So that, the purpose of his argument was to say: “I see design in my mind, my mind is logical, it is a design oriented mind. As I look at the world I see evidences through my senses of design there, and so, I must assume that there is a designer behind all of this design.”

However, what this meant, third, was that the only area of certainty for Butler was the mind. When on the basis of sense impressions he went from the mind to outer reality, the world of nature, he was now dealing with probability. And so the probability concept so common in human thought since then we derive from Butler. “This is the realm,” he said, the realm of nature, “Of probability.” And since you go from the certainty of the mind to the probabilities of nature, and from there to certain conclusions concerning God, you see, God becomes probability once removed. So that the primary and the only realm in fact of certainty is the mind, nature the probable, God a little more remote, a little less than probable.

Butler wrote on probable evidence and I quote: “Probable evidence is essentially distinguished from demonstrative by this: that it admits of degrees, and all variety of them, to the highest moral certainty to the very lowest presumption. We cannot indeed say a thing is probable true upon one very slight presumption for it, because as there may be probabilities on both sides of a question there may be some against it, and though there be not, yet a slight presumption does not beget that degree of conviction which is implied in saying that a thing is probably true. But that the slightest possible presumption is of the nature of a probability appears from hence; that such law presumption often repeated will amount even to a moral certainty. Thus, a man’s having observed the ebb and flow of the tide today affords some kind of presumption though the lowest imaginable, that it may happen again tomorrow. But the observation of this event for so many days and months and ages together, as it has been observed by mankind gives us a full assurance that it will. That which constitutes probability is expressed in the word likely, that is like some truth or true event. Like it, in itself, in its evidence in some more or fewer of its circumstances. For when we determine a thing to be probably true, suppose that an event has or will come to pass; it is from the minds remarking in it a likeness to some other event which we have observed has come to pass. And this observation forms in numberless daily instances a presumption, opinion or full conviction that such event has or will come to pass, according as the observation is, that the like event has sometimes most commonly or always, so far as our observation reaches, come to pass at like distances of time, or place, or upon like occasions.” [00:13:23]

Now this of course you recognize as basic to the modern...[edit]

Now this of course you recognize as basic to the modern perspective. The idea of probability. To the whole of the tradition that followed of reasoning from the known to the unknown, the presupposition being that the unknown must be like the known. Now of course this leads to anthropomorphism. The conclusion is that since you reason from the known to the unknown, that nature and God must be like the mind, which is a total reversal of course of the Christian position. Now because in Butler the world of the mind, the inner realm was the only realm of certainty, it began to rule. And reasoning to the outer world was held to be less and less necessary, because as you depended more and more in your religious faith on outer fact, such as the reality of the Virgin Birth or the Resurrection, the less and less certainty you had to your faith, it was held.

And so, it was more and more important, it was held, to depend on your inner experience, and less and less on some outer fact. This is why in modern existentialist theology they will speak of the resurrection and of the incarnation, but they are not talking about history, but holy history, and what is holy history? An aspect of my experience. So, if you are a naïve believer, in their eyes, who actually believes that these events took place, then you don’t understand modern theology.

Because the inner realm now was the realm of certainty, of centrality, and basic to religion, pietism, or experimental, later experiential religion was the term, came to predominate. Truth as experience. And all of Europe, Catholic and Protestant was progressively now under the influence of pietism or experiential religion, in which truth was now essentially seen not in terms of history but in terms of experience. [00:16:34]

This experiential theology received its great formulation...[edit]

This experiential theology received its great formulation after a few generations of experiential religion, and Schleiermacher. Let me add parenthetically that one of the great figures in the English tradition of experimental religion was John Wesley. The essence of Wesley’s position derived from the Moravians was experiential religion; I won’t take time now, I deal with this in a forthcoming book, to go into the very serious moral and theological aberrations at that time of the Moravians. They went into some very far out ideas, because they abandoned history. They went so far that it became so totally absurd for that era, that there was a corrective, (Vonzimzendorfs?) ideas in particular were incredible. You rarely read about this unless you go into some of the very much older books.

However in Schleiermacher 1768 to 1834 are his dates, pietism and Kantianism merge. He waged war against dogmatism and the metaphysical in religion; religious phenomenalism was his position. Human feelings were made ultimate instead of religion, and his position was parallel to that of the Marquis De Sade, an affirmation of natural inspiration. [00:18:24]

Moreover this natural inspiration was of the heart...[edit]

Moreover this natural inspiration was of the heart. Religion he defined as the feeling of absolute dependence; but when Schleiermacher spoke of absolute dependence, he was not emphasizing the dependence but the feeling of absolute dependence. So it was not a dependence which was upon something objective, but that you felt this dependence. This constituted religion. In other words, doctrine was reduced to experience and consciousness.

Nowhere does this appear more clearly than in Schleiermacher’s doctrine of the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit in Schleiermacher is simply the collective spirit of the church.

The next stage came in the open avowal of the religion of humanity, and here I will turn in particular of the American examples of it. Octavius Brook Frothingham, Frothingham in this country wrote a key work on this subject, The Religion of humanity. Frothingham was one of the most important of the Unitarians, his dates were 1822-95, and he wrote in The Religion of Humanity and I quote: “The interior spirit of any age is the spirit of God, and no faith can be living which has that spirit against it. No church can be strong except in that alliance. The life of the time appoints the creed of the time, and multiplies the establishment of the time.” [00:20:36]

Here again we have the doctrine of natural inspiration...[edit]

Here again we have the doctrine of natural inspiration after Hegel. History is God, and history is now reduced to the experience of an age, the interior spirit of any age is the spirit of God. “There can be,” he said, “No living faith apart from it.” And therefore we have a doctrine not only of inspiration, natural inspiration, but natural infallibility. Whatever is, is right. The spirit of the age is infallible. To set yourself up against the dictatorship of the proletariat is to defy infallibility. There is by the way a very definite doctrine of the infallibility of the dictatorship of the proletariat, this is not the time to go into it I am dealing with that in another study. But the spirit now of modernity, of being with the spirit of the age meant that inspiration and infallibility rest with that spirit.

This is why theologians can change from one decade to another very markedly. When I was in seminary I saw one man who was one of the best known names in theological circles in the United States, very powerful in the world council of churches, who within a very short time went from liberalism to Barthianism, that is from liberalism to existentialism we could say, or dialecticism. Was he at all embarrassed by this shift? Not at all. The spirit of the times, the requirement of history had changed, and therefore what was necessary was change in himself, and so his critique was leveled against the old fashioned theological liberal, who refused to move with the spirit of the times, with the modernism of the day. And against those who holding to a traditional orthodoxy refused to make any change or any accommodation to the age.

We have thus in Frothingham a collectivistic doctrine of natural inspiration. Truth is entirely relative to the historical movement of the day. So that, history is the new God after Hegel.

We have touched in other lectures on Paul Tillich, for whom God neither can be spoken of having being or having no being. The category of being cannot be applied to him. Out of Tillich’s thought came the death of God school. And for the death of God school God is dead by definition.

Let me read now Altizer, Thomas J.J. Altizer, as he defines history, and I quote: “This meaning of historical is intimately related to the modern idea of historicity. For in this perspective historicity means a total immersion in historical time, an immersion that is totally isolated from any meaning or reality that might lie beyond it.” [00:24:44]

That’s an amazing statement is it not? Whether God...[edit]

That’s an amazing statement is it not? Whether God exists out there or not is irrelevant, Altizer said. He is by definition dead, because he is beyond history. Even if he enters into history supernaturally in the person of Christ, He is still dead. Why? Because historicity requires total immersion in history. So the death of God school did not say that there could not be a God out there, but that he is dead because the only thing to which we will bow is to that which is totally immersed in history, everything else for us is by definition dead. Only man is real, only man can be historical. The sacred therefore in (Illiod?), Altizer, and the whole of the modern school is attached to time, so that history is now the holy.

And a long series of books have come out in the past ten years which have savagely criticized the Christian separation of the world into the sacred and the profane, because by definition now the whole of history is sacred, and the whole of history can also be profane. It is a totality. As a result, the position once ascribed to God is now given to men.

Let me quote a Presbyterian Theologian, Doctor Sam Keen. And Keen writes: “Modern man understands himself as belonging totally to the flux of history; since he can believe only in what he can experience and think, since his modes of thought are empirical, pragmatic, and operational, he finds himself increasingly cut off from the possibility of relating in hope to an transcendental reality. The ancient (ambivious?) character of man is denied, modern man lives a profane life, the virtues of faith and hope are impossible for him. It would not be too extravagant to say that the fundamental thesis of the new view of man which is coming to dominate the 20th century intellectual is that modern man has become post-human.” [00:27:46]

An amazing statement, modern man is post human...[edit]

An amazing statement, modern man is post human. He is the new God, or is in process of becoming the new God. Catholic theologian Leslie Dewart has said: “God cannot be conceived of being.” What is then the religious hope if it is not God? “God,” Says Dewart, the catholic theologian, Moltmann the Lutheran theologian, and a whole school of thinkers drawn from every church, “God is the future.”

The future man, the future society, the future one world order. The name given to this school of thought is “The Theology of Hope”. Its thesis is that man is not to despair, that man has a future, a glorious future. God is ahead. Of course you recognize here also some of the ideas of (Talhar De Jardin?) So if we work together towards this one world socialized humanity, then we will have God at the end of the road.

On the theology of Moltmann and the whole school of the theology of hope, my associate at Chalcedon Greg Bahnsen has written and I quote:

“As the evangelical comes upon Moltmann’s initial judgement about the resurrection of Christ, he might gain some encouragement. Moltmann says Christianity stands or falls with the reality of the rising of Jesus from the dead by God, in the New Testament there is no faith that does not start a priori with the resurrection of Jesus. But no sooner does he make such a bold assertion than he begins to weaken the thought until all evangelical interest in the resurrection has been washed away. Moltmann goes on to say the question: “What can I know about the historical facts?” cannot be here separated from the ethical and existential question, “What am I to do?” and from the eschatological question: “What may I hope for?” The question is then no longer whether this proclamation of the resurrection is correct in the historical sense, but whether and how the proclamation is legitimated and necessarily called to life by the event of which it speaks. The event off raising Christ from the dead is an event which is understood only in the modus of promise, hence the reports of the resurrection will always have to be read also eschatologically in the light of the question: “What may I hope for?” [00:30:53]

If you follow this, it is a symbol of what is going...[edit]

If you follow this, it is a symbol of what is going to happen to man, rather than a historical fact. A person is left confused and wondering whether, among Moltmann’s verbiage about the association of the crucified one with the risen one, he truly believes in the historical bodily resurrection. One gets the impression that resurrection for Moltmann is synonymous with socio political involvement, rather than depicting an event.”

And of course, that is precisely its meaning. One of the Catholic theologians of the left, Gregory Baum has said and I quote: “I try to translate every sentence about God contained in the traditional creeds into a sentence dealing with human possibilities, promised to man, and changes of consciousness offered to him.”

Baum goes on to say further and I quote: “What is wrong for today in the traditional manner” (Or traditional theology) “is the objectification of God. To see God as something out there.” (This he says is what is wrong with traditional theology.) “Because of the change and the understanding of man and his world, it has become impossible to think of God as a being over, against, and above human history. God is not objective. God cannot become an object of man’s mind of which he can acquire some knowledge, however analogous, and about which he is able to make true statements. God is not a supreme being of which man can seek any kind of spectator knowledge. The four authors,” (He has been dealing with four contemporary Catholic theologians) “give various reasons why it has become impossible to think of God as a supreme being. The theoretical reasons are connected with the developmental or evolutionary view of reality, characteristic of the present; other reasons are drawn from Christian piety itself. For a great number of Christians, traditional prayer has become almost impossible. They can no longer project God before them as the invisible friend or father, and then address him in their prayers.” [00:33:47]

Man Baum says, and ...[edit]

Man Baum says, and (Keen?), Moltmann, all of these theologians of hope, Catholic and Protestant, man is in the process of becoming. He is evolving to that point in the future when he will have realized himself in the socio political order, when he will have united himself into that ideal society and the great one world order appears and God is born. I think it will come to you as no surprise when I say that Moltmann and these other thinkers as well have been profoundly influenced by Marxist thought. And that, some of them have been quite active in conducting dialogues with the Marxist thinkers. As a result there is today a very lively exchange of ideas, of coming together, between various Marxist theoreticians and these theologians of hope.

On the other hand, dialogue has also been started with other religions, towards realizing the objectives of this theology of hope. There is a very significant book in this area, a very brilliant although totally wrong headed from my perspective work by a Jesuit scholar, Dumoulin, who has written on the dialogue between Buddhism and Christianity. Now, he has some status on the commission for such dialogue which was set up by Vatican II, in terms of the documents of the constitutions on the church number 16, which called for precisely this kind of dialogue. It is interesting as he recounts these dialogues that some of the finest objections to the theology of hope come, tragically, from Buddhist thinkers. That while the Buddhist thinkers are quite ready to embark upon this, they at points raise telling questions about Christian faith, with an awareness of its emphasis on an historical revelation, that the Christian theologians are unable to answer adequately. [00:36:50]

Baum goes on to comment of various of his fellow Catholic...[edit]

Baum goes on to comment of various of his fellow Catholic theologians and I quote: “For (Duarte?), (Altazar?) and Baum, God is personal.” (He is writing about himself in the third person.) “By this they mean that man’s relationship to the deepest dimension of his history, the ever new and gratuitous summons present in his life is personal, that is, consists in listening and responding, of receiving gifts and being grateful for them, of being called like Abraham, to leave the past, and move with confidence into the future.” And then he declares: “The doctrine of God is the good news that humanity is possible.”

Now if you were like myself one who thought that humanity had been existing all along, you’re wrong. Humanity is the possible, it is the God of the future, this one world socialized man, where all men are brothers, and all things are held in common. The state withers away, and utopia is achieved. Then God is born. And then humanity, because humanity is god, is born. In essence what the modern theologians, Protestant and Catholic are doing is to listen intently to their own consciousness for inspiration. And so modern theology has become an exercise in waiting not on God, but upon waiting upon one’s own consciousness for a new and an infallible word.

Protestant and Catholic Theologians, one might add, are now trying to surpass one another, in what to anyone who is orthodox would call blasphemy. Are there any questions now? Yes?

[Audience Member] Some of those who believe this, do they presume that there will ever be a life for them that follows this, or is it just those who exist in that utopian society will be there to enjoy it and all those who have gone before have just contributed in some way to this?

[Rushdoony] A very good question, what is going to happen to them in this distant world. Well, they do not believe in a life after death, unless man himself somehow conquerors it and makes it possible. Either by prolonging life endlessly, or by conquering death and being able to survive in some post-mortal manner. One astrophysicist who is very much a part of this new school has gone so far as to say, and I quote him in my Mythology of Science, that we will not only finally overcome death, we will also sometime in the future dispense with the body. And when the sun dies we will have by that time learned how to build a new sun and establish it in the heavens, so that death in the physical universe will be no problem for us. This is Kenneth (Duor?), a British astrophysicist of considerable note. [00:40:56]

Now of course that is exactly what modern theology...[edit]

Now of course that is exactly what modern theology is talking about, man is going to play God. And their belief in the ability of man to accomplish these things is really staggering. There are no limits, with man all things will become possible.

[Audience Member] Does any of them hold out the hope of making this retroactive?

[Rushdoony] A very, very good question. The idea has been played with, you’ve no doubt read about cloning. Yes? Alright, in terms of the same idea of cloning it might be possible to scrape of a few dead protoplasm’s and perhaps reconstruct you in the future. Now, this they have not done more than toss out a few hints about, but there is no limit to their imagination, believe me. And this is why when they deal with the problems of economics you cannot talk to them, I have tried, they brush it aside. If they are going to create a new sun, problems of supply and demand are nothing to them. “Don’t bother me with trifles!”

Yes?

[Audience Member] (?)

[Rushdoony] Oh yes, there is quite a literature on that pro and con, but that is thoroughly in line with the modern temper. Yes?

[Audience Member] (?)

[Rushdoony] Yes, the question is, is Teilhard de Chardin the person who is the fountain head of this. No. as a matter of fact I think he is a relatively minor figure in it. But because he had attracted early attention he was in a sense pushed out in front to take the brunt of the attack, while a great many of these thinkers who were routinely teaching in various schools could go on quietly with their thinking. There is a long, long tradition here, so that Chardin is by no means the key figure here, in fact I would say he is basically a minor one. Yes?

[Audience Member] Doctor Rushdoony, the last work that Bishop (?) ever wrote (?) he set forth exactly what (?) explained after attacking the historical position of Christianity and its doctrines, the very last chapter (?) he said: “What then do I believe? I believe in man.”

[Rushdoony] Mhmm. Yes?

[Audience Member] When you look at the modern, particularly the neo orthodox, who looks at scripture in terms of inspiration experientially, and say ‘it had meaning to me’ what if I as a modern looked at a passage, say of 1st Thessalonians where he talked about Christ’s return and it had meaning to me? What kind of meaning does that have for the modern?

[Rushdoony] None. He would wipe out your position as having any relevancy, because it is not an existential experience. You are influenced by ideas from the past, you are influenced by the teaching of people outside of you, and therefore you do not embody true inspiration, true experience, which is purely existential, coming right out of the moment. [00:45:29]

[Audience Member] So when we get to the historical...[edit]

[Audience Member] So when we get to the historical problems, the historical truth, it cannot be meaningful to me, in other words, incarnation, the rapture, these things cannot be meaningful to me then.

[Rushdoony] that’s right, because you emphatically are not existential in your experience. History is irrelevant, except as you see history as the God in this term. To look at history in any traditional sense is meaningless. A very interesting instance of that at a major university, when I was there I was talking to one of the younger members of the history department who is a Christian, and he told me that one of the professors there had started the course he teaches for the required course, I believe it was Western Civ. He began the course by saying: “We are now dealing with the history of western civilization. Of course history as the textbooks deal with it is a myth, there is no such thing as history, there is no meaningful pattern of events, there is no logic, no significance to that which you have been brought up to regard as history. Nevertheless, since the board of regents of this university are paying me a reasonably decent salary to teach you history, let us proceed.”

Yes?

[Audience Member] Reverend Rushdoony, in his book Human Destiny Comte talks about the evolution of man, the ever communing with God, a philosophy of hope it seems to me and one of optimism, he also seems to say much that fits into the traditional Christian framework, he recognizes Christ, but would you comment on how this thinking fits in?

[Rushdoony] Yes, Human Destiny is an interesting work, at times beautifully written, which brings together an amalgamation of Christian and Spenserian ideas. It really is behind the times and has, while it has been popular, is irrelevant in the basic stream of modern thought. First it is combining various things in a beautiful but unworkable synthesis, and second he is about three generations behind in terms of modern philosophy. It has not been given any serious consideration, one or two scientists have become enamored of it and quote it, but by and large it is not regarded as a serious work. Yes? [00:48:51]

[Audience Member] I was wondering if you might comment...[edit]

[Audience Member] I was wondering if you might comment on where you think Billy Graham fits into this, he has been quite an influence especially on a lot of youth, he is definitely a theologian of the times, and also (?) Jesus freak (?).

[Rushdoony] Yes, most of these are in the tradition of modern philosophy with their emphasis on experience. Emphatically on experience. Billy Graham has progressively tossed overboard his background of neo-fundamentalistic doctrine, he has dropped the centrality of a number of ideas such as the doctrine of the inspiration of scripture and a great many other things. Recently as you may be aware when in Japan he said “The 8 points of Mao were as good as the 10 commandments, in fact he might even be happier with them if they would be taught in all our public schools,” He has denied that since he returned that he made such a statement, but he emphatically did. His emphasis has over the years become more and more eroded into experience. He still uses the traditional terminology, I think he believes perhaps more than he will sometimes say, especially when he is abroad, and he is dealing with people who are less likely to believe with him, he tosses overboard as baggage a great deal of the historical revelation because experience is basic to his position.

Now the Jesus movement, of course there are so many facets to it, it is difficult to generalize, but it is basically experiential. It is ready to toss out a great deal, the Children of God for example are ready to say that the Biblical requirements with regard to sexual morality are meaningless. Others are ready to toss other things overboard. The World Liberation Front which is one of the very influential Jesus Movement groups has actually gone off now into Gnosticism, it has projected sex into the very person of God, so that God the Father is the male principle, and the Holy Spirit is the female principle, and then they proceed to reinterpret human sexuality in terms of a kind of sacramental significance, until their position is no different than Baal worship, fertility cult practices. Now this is the kind of thing they have gone into, and the reason for it of course is that experience is basic. The World Liberation Front people were into meaningless sex, it was becoming a stupid meaningless ting, now they have named it meaningful, sacramental, so they are back into the same thing. [00:52:10]

Incidentally one of the very, very widely read people...[edit]

Incidentally one of the very, very widely read people of our time in fundamentalist circles, Hal Lindsey, is now writing for the World Liberation Front. They’ve published on of his little pamphlets recently, so it tells you the direction of his thinking. Yes?

[Audience Member] Do you mind commenting on the drive to eliminate gender in regard to God in the literature of many (?)

[Rushdoony] Yes, if God is not a person, if he is to be made an impersonal force you eliminate gender, you eliminate personality, eliminate being, it is all a part of the pattern whereby everything that has been traditionally ascribed to God is eliminated. The Theology of Hope of course has furthered this kind of thing. Yes?

[Audience Member] Recently …?...

[Rushdoony] I don’t know how to best tie in with it, I was very surprised that it was enacted, I think that what with all the corruption in Washington they felt the need for a little bit of sanctimonious piety, I just wonder how many people in Washington were involved in praying and fasting that day.

[Audience Member] Thank you Reverend Rushdoony. [00:53:51]